Book Review: The Man Behind the Tudor’s, Thomas Howard 2nd Duke of Norfolk by Kirsten Claiden-Yardley

Genre: Historical, nonfiction

Publisher: Pen and Sword

Pub date: 27 January 2020

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Being interested in the Tudor era I was well aware of Thomas Howard the 3rd Duke of Norfolk and was aware of his father and his victory at Flodden but not in any great detail. Claiden-Yardley explores the life of Thomas Howard the 2nd Duke of Norfolk from his childhood through to his death, uncovering his successes, failures and what really motivated him.

Thomas served through the reign of four kings, Edward IV, Richard III, Henry VII and Henry VIII. Where many died for fighting for the wrong side Thomas managed to maintain his life although that is not to say his fortunes did not rise and fall as he fought for Richard at the Battle of Bosworth. Thomas spent years working hard to regain trust and develop his family dynasty slowly regaining his lost lands and eventually his title after the Battle of Flodden Field.

His experience as a courtier and a military commander are explored and I loved the part which discusses Flodden Field. Here Thomas used all his knowledge and experience to overcome a larger army and bring success to Henry VIII.

After reading this I understand Thomas to be a family man, he himself married for love but he continued working to ensure his family was established and wealthy through land and marriage. His relationship with his children is discussed along with the dynasty he left behind. Thomas was of course grandfather to two queens, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, and great grandfather to Elizabeth I, a pretty impressive legacy.

I greatly enjoyed that Claiden-Yardley provides information about the current extended Howard family who maintain some of the titles gained through Thomas’ hard work all those years ago. I also especially enjoyed the images of Thomas’ tomb and what it may have looked like had it not been destroyed.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it brought Thomas to life. It seems Thomas was always loyal to the crown regardless of who wore it and tried his best for his monarch and family. I highly recommend this to those with an interest in the era. This was a fantastic depiction of one of the most important men of the time.

Thank you to NetGalley and Pen and Sword for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my review.

The Man Behind the Tudor’s is available now:

Amazon UK

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